Manisha Bhatt, a Senior Attorney working at the Family Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services — where she represents survivors of domestic violence in divorce, paternity, and abuse prevention proceedings — has been named winner of the Boston Bar Association’s 2011 John G. Brooks Legal Services Award. That award will be presented by BBA President Lisa C. Goodheart on October 13 at the BBA Annual Meeting Luncheon, an event drawing more than 1,000 lawyers.
“Manisha is acutely sensitive to cultural differences among diverse populations, and firmly believes that giving people positive knowledge about their rights and remedies will help them survive and thrive. She has the skills and experience to assure her clients that even though they are at a low point in their lives, their best days are ahead. Manisha embodies the heart and soul of what it means to be a legal services lawyer.”
An alum of the Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program (2005 to 2006), Manisha has been a leader in creating bridges to diverse legal communities. She was the principal architect of “Know Your Rights,” an award-winning program developed by the South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston (SABA). In 2007 SABA GB named her Board Member of the year, and in 2009 she won the North American South Asian Bar Association’s Cornerstone Award.
Manisha serves on the Board of Editors of the Boston Bar Journal, and is co-chair of the Pro Bono Committee of the BBA’s Litigation Section. A graduate of Boston College and Suffolk University Law School, she is fluent in Spanish and Gujarati, a South Asian Dialect. Born in Weymouth, MA, she grew up in Brockton, MA.
The John G. Brooks Legal Services Award is named for John Graham Brooks, a past president of the BBA, former Legal Services Corporation board member, and advocate for legal services for poor people. Established in 1988, the award honors career legal services lawyers working on the front lines.